Graduation Requirements

California High School Graduation Requirements, 2017 – 2018

In order to receive a high school diploma in California, students must complete state and local graduation requirements. While local school districts have the authority and responsibility to establish California high school graduation requirements, California Education Code Section 51225.3 specifies that in order to graduate high school and receive a high school diploma, students are required to take and pass a certain amount of courses in addition to passing of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) in order to graduate. In addition, California public universities require the high school graduation requirements to be met in order to attend.

Credits to Graduate High School

California credits to graduate high school include the following courses with each course lasting the duration of one school year:

  • 3 courses in English
  • 2 courses in mathematics, including one year of algebra
  • 2 courses in Science, including biological and physical sciences
  • 3 courses in social studies, including US history and geography, world history, culture and geography. One semester in American government and civics and one semester in economics.
  • 1 course in visual or performing arts or foreign language
  • 2 courses in physical education

Required Courses

The following courses and their credits are required to graduate from San Diego Virtual School. There are additional course requirements for a student to be eligible for college acceptance.

When planning course selections, please be sure that a minimum total of 220 academic credits are completed for graduation. Students must be enrolled in grade level English, History, Science, and math. Students must complete 220 credits to graduate and it is recommended that a student enroll in at least 30 credits per semester. A student must be enrolled in at least 20 San Diego Virtual credits per semester unless their credits for graduation are less than 20.

California Highschool Graduation Requirements


A student receives 5 credits for each semester course passed. All courses at SDVS are worth 5 credits. Please see the course catalog for specific credits. Student must complete a minimum of 220 required credits for graduation and pass the CAHSEE in Mathematics and English/Language Arts in order to receive a diploma.

No Grades

A no grade (NG) will be given for any course not completed during the semester the course was assigned. If the course is completed and passed by the date established in the following semester, the teacher will ensure a grade change (substitution) for the no grade. If the course is not completed by the date established in the following semester, the student will receive an “F” for that course and will need to take the complete course again, with a passing score, to receive credit for course completion.

California High School Exit Examination

California requires all high school students to pass the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) as part of the California high school graduation requirements for 2015. California created the test to enhance student achievement in high school to ensure students graduate with grade level skills in reading, writing and math. Students can begin taking the test in tenth grade with two additional opportunities to pass the test in eleventh grade and five opportunities to retake the test in twelfth grade.

Online Credits to Graduate High School

San Diego Virtual School allows students to receive a high school diploma by completing the required California high school credits through our accredited charter school. Our comprehensive curriculum is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to provide high school students with the required core classes to meet the state’s minimum requirements to graduate. In addition, San Diego Virtual School offers extensive elective courses and extracurricular activities to further help high school students receive a California high school diploma.

Students work closely with California-credentialed teachers through our online high school to successfully reach the California high school graduation requirements. Upon completion, students will obtain their high school diploma and earn recognition for their accomplishment at San Diego Virtual School’s yearly graduation ceremony. To learn more about SDVS, visit our About page or feel free to contact us.


“State Minimum Course Requirements” California Department of Education

“California High School Exit Examination” California Department of Education